Millions of dollars' worth of damage was caused by high winds and floodwater on Monday night (22 September) when hurricane "Eloise" deviated from her expected course and hit the north Florida coast in the United States.
GV Freak wind blowing in Panama City, Florida
GV Water flooding through streets (2 shots)
GVs Wrecked buildings (2 shots)
SV Lele Killings-worth interviewed
GV Wrecked home
GV & SV Holiday-makers searching for luggage etc. (2 shots)
GVs Storm damage to homes and buildings in town (3 shots)
REPORTER: "More than a hundred thousand people on the Gulf coast abandoned their homes and businesses last night to escape hurricane winds of more that a hundred miles and hour. Hours before it reached land the storm dropped several inches of rain and blew hard against everything in its path. It was only at midnight that people on the north Florida coast hard "Eloise" had turn slightly east...and was heading their way. But enough of them headed the warnings so there were no deaths or serious injuries directly caused by the storm. Restaurants and motels were ripped apart before their owners' eyes."
REPORTER: "Closer to Fort Walton Beach, motel guests who were forced to leave in a hurry returned today to find belongings either washed or blown away.
"Roofs were torn off, signs were twisted or knocked down. Electric power lines were strung across the highway for almost seventy miles from Fort Walton beach to Panama City. By the time the hurricane had crossed the Florida panhandle, it had spawned at least three tornadoes and wrought damage...the cost of which will run into the millions. Judy Woodruff, N.B.C. News, Panama City, Florida."
KILLINGSWORTH: "Just about everything went flying through the air... and wires and everything.. all coming down on top of everybody. (INDISTINCT)... and electrical wires and everything was just a mess. It was just a mass, just a flat mass."
Initials BB/0040 EW/PN/BB/0100
This film is serviced with a commentary by N.B.C. reporter Judy Woodruff. A transcript of the narration appears overleaf.
REPORTER: JUDY WOODRUFF
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Millions of dollars' worth of damage was caused by high winds and floodwater on Monday night (22 September) when hurricane "Eloise" deviated from her expected course and hit the north Florida coast in the United States.
Meteorologists had earlier predicted that "Eloise" would hit the H.S. Gulf Coase, and thousands of people left their homes to escape the storm's wrath. But, only hours before it crossed the coast, the hurricane veered slightly eastward, towards north Florida.
Swift storm warnings alerted residents, and officials said later the rapid evacuation of homes, hotels and motels along the coast prevented any loss of life or serious injury directly attributable to the hurricane.
Many homes, restaurants and other buildings were severely damaged as high winds swept the area, ripping off roofs and tearing down electric cables and telephone wires along a seventy miles (112 kilometre) stretch between the townships of Panama City and Fort Walton Beach.
Before reaching Florida, "Eloise" carved a trail of destruction through the Caribbean, leaving at least 30 dead in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
The National Hurricane centre in Miami, Florida, said later that the hurricane had lost some of its force by the time it hit the United States, and its wind speed had dropped from 85 miles per hour (137 kilometres per hour) to 70 miles (112 kilometres).
Panama City resident Lela Killingsworth describes on film what happened when "Eloise" struck. A transcript follows: